Mangini’s fate most likely won’t be decided by Lerner

 

Yes, Browns owner Randy Lerner is committed to keeping Eric Mangini until seasons end. After that it’s believed someone else will control his fate. That someone is now believed to be former Green Bay/ Seattle HC Mike Holmgren. It’s no secret that Lerner holds  Holmgren‘s former boss Ron Wolf’s opinions in high regard who is pushing for his former HC to land in Cleveland.

 

Why would Holmgren want to come to Cleveland? Well for starters they  have as of now 11 draft picks in April and have quietly climbed out of salary cap hell. Heading into next season the Browns will have the second highest cap space in the league. This is one of the few reasons Lerner has been sticking with Mangini. But you can bet your house if Holmgren does come here, he will have the final say on the head coach. As much as Lerner doesn’t want to go down this road again,he feels if he hires the right experienced man combined with the drafts picks and cap space that he can right the ship.

 

It  now seems perfectly clear what everyone’s known all along, Mangini is wearing every hat possible in this organization. This is why Kosar has been hired as a consultant only to Lerner. He has heard enough and been burnt too many times to put all his eggs in Mangini‘s basket.

 

The sudden dismisal of GM George Kokinis only sent shock waves outside of the walls in Berea. A strained relationship from week one developed into Kokinis becoming so distant from the day-to-day operations he learned of the Braylon Edwards trade via ESPN.  In fact he became so distant Browns exec’s including Lerner urged him to seek counseling and even had to be strongly encouraged to do an interview with Sports Illustrated. These are believed to be the reasons for the clubs “just cause” firing.  Many believe Kokinis will land back in Baltimore where he still owns a home and is held in high regard. How ever Kokinis has hired a top notch lawyer who has past experience with going against the NFL before.

 

Count me in for those that don’t subscribe to the theory there was an affair between Erin O’brien and Kokinis. Anytime you have a female and male fired from a job there’s sure to be this type of speculation. However this seems to be more a a “media driven” rumor than anything else. The only thing it shows to me is Lerner isn’t married to everything Mangini is trying to sell him on. Theres some who have said that league insiders warned Mangini about the baggage O’brien brought with her and you can bet this topic has been discussed between league consultants Ron Wolf and Ernie Accorsi who have also been privately consulting with Lerner.

 

brianponn@thesportshole.com

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